Q: What safe guards (mitigation strategies) are being put in place in our schools
A: Buildings have been designed with our health partners at Lorain County Public Health, Mercy Health - Lorain, and Case Western Reserve University to provide the following mitigation strategies (protective barriers):
- Masks are required in all buildings;
- Social distancing signage and cues are marked throughout all facilities;
- Hand sanitizing stations are available in high traffic, common areas;
- Plexiglass barriers have been installed in main offices;
- Facility cleaning and sanitizing practices are updated to meet or exceed COVID-19 specifications
Q: Will plexiglass barriers be installed on desks?
A: Plexiglass barriers will NOT be installed on all desks, as health experts have cautioned they obstruct air flow, and air flow is critical in reducing spread.
Plexiglass barriers MAY be installed on student or staff desks when circumstances deem the benefit outweighs this risk, such as when the accommodation is necessary to meet a student’s IEP.
Plexiglass barriers WILL be installed in areas in which staff receive a high number of visitors from outside the school community, such as main offices.
Q: Are the air systems up to recommendations for helping with the virus?
A: Yes. Here’s some helpful information provided by our custodial staff to help explain how it works:
An air handler unit is used to re-condition and circulate air as part of a heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system. The basic function of the air handler unit is take in outside air, re-condition it and supply it as fresh air to a building. All exhaust air is removed, which creates high quality indoor air.
- The outside air pleated filters are changed every 3 months.
- The return air and coil pleated filters are changed every 6 months.
- The cartridge air filters are changed every 2 years.
- Coils and drain pans are disinfected yearly.
Q: Will there be temperature checks when students enter classrooms each day?
A: No. Our local health partners have advised that temperature checks are not a reliable indicator of whether or not an individual has COVID. Families will be required to assess multiple symptoms in their children each day before coming to school.
Q: What does quarantine look like and what should be done after COVID testing?
A: Lorain County Public Health provides excellent guidance through the following resources:
Q: If students refuse to wear a mask or are regularly breaking the "mask rule" can they be placed back on remote instruction for the safety of all?
A: Short answer: Yes
Long answer: Modeling and practicing safe and appropriate behaviors are cornerstones of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). We will work closely with our students regarding proper mask wearing practices and protocols.
When we visited area school districts to learn from their in-person experiences, they unilaterally indicated student mask violations hadn’t been an issue. Those who violated the mask wearing policy were nearly always adults.
Q: If 6’ social distancing is mandatory, why are the lines at the high school not 6’ apart?
A: We have confirmed that the lines in the hallways are 6’ apart. However, there are also taped “boxes” in the center of the hallways for our SRO’s — this may be causing the confusion. But the distance between taped markers for students are 6’ apart.
Q: How do we get/who is providing masks?
A: Students and staff will be provided with reusable masks; disposable masks will also be available for emergency use. Individuals may also bring their own masks from home if they choose to do so.
Q: What do mask breaks look like?
A: They can be done individually, in the moment, or as a class by going outside. There will be guidance provided.
Q: Will each building have its own full-time health professional in its clinic?
A: No. Elementary and middle schools will continue to share school health professionals. The high school will continue to have 2 full time nurses. However, this year their schedule be further supplemented by nurse subs.
Q: In Special Education (SE) and and English Learner (EL) classrooms, are both the teacher and parapro included in the room’s formula for 6 foot social distancing?